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Senate Farewell Speeches

Series/Special. Farewell speeches from retiring U.S. Senate members.

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South Carolina 24, Washington 9, Jim Demint 7, Tim Scott 7, Us 6, Jim 6, Lindsay Graham 5, Haley 4, America 2, Tim 2, U.s. 2, Nikki Haley 2, Paul Ryan 2, Carolina 2, Graham 2, Connecticut 2, Joe Wilson 2, Jeff Duncan 1, Scott 1, Nicholas Mulvaney 1,
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  CSPAN    Senate Farewell Speeches    Series/Special. Farewell speeches  
   from retiring U.S. Senate members.  

    December 23, 2012
    12:05 - 12:35am EST  

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through, and he has stayed consistent to that. it also shows you the fact that this man loves south carolina, and he is very aware that what he does and every vote he makes affects south carolina and affects our country. so it was with that that i knew that he was the right person. i have no doubt that he will fly now 2014. i am strongly convinced that i and the entire state understands that this is the right u.s. senator for our state and for our country. what i will also tell you -- and it is very important to me as a minority female -- that congressman scott earned this seat. he earned this seat for the person that he is. he earned this seat for the results he has shown. he earned this seat for what i know he's going to do in making south carolina and making our country proud. and so with that, i would like
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to introduce to you our senate- elect tim scott. >> thank you. \[applause] >> thank you. thank y'all very much. before we get started, i was thinking that this is a great day of celebration in many, many ways. but our nation still mourns. and i wanted to take a moment of silence for newtown, connecticut. if you'd join me, please. \[moment of silence] >> thank you. i will tell you that this is an exciting day for many, many reasons, but for me, the first thing i wanted to say is just thank you to my lord and savior, jesus christ, to be honest with you. \[applause] i believe that when you start out in a single-parent household with a mom who works 16 hours a day and you're looking at a future that doesn't
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look as bright and you're living in north charleston, south carolina, you build a strength that comes from ching the appreciation and understanding that is not about you, it's about your faith, it's about your family. and i love my mother, who's here with me, frances scott, and i'm very thankful to the good lord and to a strong mom who believes that sometimes love has to come at the end of a switch, and she loves me a lot. and i'll tell you that along that way, that when times got tough and when i was flunking out of high school -- when i failed world geography, civics, spanish and english -- when you fail spanish and english, they don't call you bilingual, ok? they may refer to you as biignic because you can't speak any language. i will tell you that my mother did not quit on me. i also had the good fortune of meeting a meant more from chick-fil-a who taught me basic biblical principles and it has served well.
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our nation finds itself in a situation where we need some backbone, we need to make very difficult decisions. so often we have a conversation about how do we create enough revenue to solve the problem. i learned early in my 20's that if you have a problem with spending, there's not enough revenue to make up for it. we have a spending problem, ladies and gentlemen, in america, and not a revenue problem. so it's very difficult for us to fix the problems in a nation with $16 trillion of debt, with an annual deficit of more than $1 trillion by simply talking about raising revenues of the top 2%. you can take all the revenue, all the revenue from the top 2% and you simply could not close the annual deficit. that's a challenge. it's a challenge and it's a place where senator jim demint has led. senator jim demint has led in a way that few others have led and he's been consistent, he's
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been transparent and he's been succinct, and that is why there is no way to fill his shoes. there's no way to have another jim demint in america. i'm so thankful that we in south carolina, we don't lose jim demint, that we see jim demint go to a bigger, greater opportunity. there is no one else in south carolina than lindsay graham. senator graham has served his state incredibly well. he understands the foreign affairs are real like no other. i look forward to learning more about foreign affairs from senator graham. i will also say that over the last two years i've had the privilege of gaining a new family. some people don't think we look
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alike, but sometimes we do. \[laughter] i'll tell you that everyone from joe wilson, who we have referred to as the scoutmaster, to nicholas mulvaney -- i'm not sure what it is, but this wonderful haircut, and jeff duncan, who's not here with us and the new addition, tom rice. i have been afforded one of the greatest opportunities in the world to serve in the house of representatives. but what has made it more meaningful is to have served with these four guys and our scoutmaster. and i look forward to continuing to build on the family known as south carolina. you know, i haven't won anything yet in the senate and i have to run for re-election in 2014. and i look forward to having an opportunity to getting around the state and introducing myself to citizens throughout this great state of south carolina. and i will say this in closing -- the future is incredibly bright for america. we have our challenges. we have things that we have to
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overcome. but, boy, does the future look great in south carolina. we have done it together, we are better together, and our future will reflect the good opportunities coming to our nation. and let me close with this -- i wanted to save the governor till last. because watching her from a distance has been incredible. i can't imagine the daily pressures of governing this great state. i can't imagine the arrows that are thrown her way all the time. but i can see with clarity the conviction and the integrity and the character that you're dealing with, and south carolina is better because we have nikki haley as our governor and i look forward to pressing the flesh on economic issues, having the opportunity to work
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on making sure that our economy in this state continues to hum like an engine and get on the team with nikki haley, to make sure that all of america continues to hear the great things about south carolina. thank you very much. \[applause] >> thank you, tim. and now to our conservative rock star for the state of south carolina and our conservative rock star for now the country and the heritage foundation, senator jim demint. \[applause] >> governor, when you say there will never be anyone like me in the senate again, most of washington says thank goodness. \[laughter] but i'm excited about what's going on today. the only thing or one of the few things i worried about when
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i was considering leaving the senate was who would replace me, because i knew governor haley would put someone in this seat that we would all be proud of and would continue to stand for those principles of freedom and opportunity that i've worked on while i was in the senate. so governor, thank you for your faithfulness to our cause and for your good judgment. and tim, i could not be happier today. and i appreciate the compliments. but i can walk away from the senate knowing that someone is in this seat that is better than i am, that will carry that voice of opportunity conservativism to the whole country in a way that i couldn't do. i'm going to keep working for that cause, but i can tell you, tim, you've inspired me since the first time i heard you speak in public. and our country needs those
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positive, optimistic voices right now to encourage people that there is a way out of this quagmire we're in in washington. you've got the right ideas, and i know you're going to inspire a lot of other people, too. and thank you for being willing to do this. and i, too, thank your mom. i had a mom that understood that the best ideas were at the end of a switch, too sometimes. i want to say a few words about senator lindsay graham, who's been a great partner to me, and sometimes he's been the good guy and sometimes he's been the bad guy and i've been the good guy. and we've switched around, but we've worked real well together in washington. he's a great senator. does a good job on so many different issues. so i've been proud to serve with him and i'll continue to work with him from my approach over at the heritage foundation. tim, i feel the same way you do about our congressional delegation. i could not be prouder of our state for sending folks like this to stand in washington and
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fight for the right ideas. and they've certainly done it with a lot of integrity and courage and a wonderful man of character. i greatly appreciate it. it's been the honor and privilege of my life to serve the people of south carolina and the united states senate. debbie and i and my whole family are so thankful for the encouragement and support over the years. everywhere we go people just grab our arms and say, "thanks for fighting, we're praying for you." and so often i hear people say, "what can i do?" people in this state want to make a difference, and it really has inspired me to take that idea all around the country, and by doing that i have seen that if we take our case to the american people, we can change what happens in washington. it's slow. it's two steps forward and one step back. but we've changed the face of the senate, and we have changed things that were so parochial that they interfered with our national good.
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and we've been able to get the conversation moving in the right direction. but only because people all across the country, like we saw in south carolina, were willing to get engaged, get involved, and to make a difference. most people agree that our country is on an unsustainable course. last week governor mitch daniel, he said the policies that are already in place will essentially bring our country down. and that the friends of freedom all over the country have to be ready with a new infrastructure. the reason i'm leaving the senate is i believe that this idea of taking a case to the american people is something that i can do much more effectively from the heritage foundation, knowing that my seat is filled with someone who's going to continue to take the stands that we need to in the senate. the heritage foundation
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provided policies for the reagan administration and for the republican revolution and continues to develop the best ideas, the ideas that work and present them all over the country. i've talked to a number of governors since i made this decision. rick perry, chris christie, scott walker, in addition to governor haley. they recognize that what the federal government is doing is likely to end up with some type of meltdown. but the good news is this -- all over the country states are implementing these conservative ideas that are working. we see states like south carolina and states like michigan copy us, when we don't force workers to join unions. your economy grows and companies move and want to be a part of what's happening here. when you give parents more choices of education, it helps all children, low-income children, minority children. we see it all over the country and we can prove it with real
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research. when states have the right to develop their own energy, like we've seen in north dakota and pennsylvania, the revenues that come into the government help to build better roads, better schools, and keep taxes lower. that's an opportunity i hope we can have in south carolina. and when states can control more of their transportation and infrastructure dollars that can be more efficient and do much better than we are or what we can do now under the federal regime, so the principles of freedom are working all over the country. we need to spotlight them, showcase them, communicate them all over the country, so that people see that these ideas work and at the same time, they're going to be able to look to washington over the next few years and see that the ideas that are in place are not working. they're dragging us down. and so when washington hits a wall, which we know they will, the friends of freedom here in south carolina and all over the country are going to be ready
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not with political ideas, but with american ideas. ideas that we know are working and can point to and show that they're working for 100% of americans. that's what i'm going to be doing the next few years. i'm not getting out of the fight, i'm raising my game, and i know that i've got a partner now in tim scott as well as lindsay graham and governor haley and all of you who are here today, and i am just so grateful for the opportunity to serve, and i promise you that i'm going to keep serving and fighting in the same way that you've seen in the past. thank you very much. \[applause] >> and so i can tell you that one of the things, as i travel across the country, everybody always wants to know is how in the world we got the best federal delegation in the country. and all i tell them is south carolina is blessed. we have a great group of legislators that fight every day, that get what we want, and they fight for it.
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they don't just go along with the pack, they fight for it. so i am thankful that so many members came here to be supportive of tim, but i also want to make sure that we have our senior senator speak, who i enjoy working with and who has been there every time i've called him, senator lindsay graham. \[applause] >> thank you, governor, thank you very much. well, tim, if you add up all the courses that we flunked together, people would begin to understand how the government works. \[laughter] here's the good news -- i made 800 on the s.a.t., that's both parts, and i'm one of the smarter ones over there. so don't worry, you're going to do really well. \[laughter] as to jim, i think we've been doing this for almost 20 years. if there's ever a contest for marrying over your head, jim might win that for sure. debbie is -- i really enjoy
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your family. you've got four great kids and grandkids coming almost every month it seems like. but debbie has been a great partner to you and a great friend to me, and i want to acknowledge her. and i think her life is going to have some stability it hasn't had before. but you started your career as a very much excited, motivated, strong, but quiet, voice. and some people ask me, what happened to jim? let me tell you what happened to jim. jim felt that the country is not going to change without somebody making it change. so it was out of a sense of frustration that you had to do things sometimes almost by yourself, and i'm here to tell you you changed things and we appreciate the hell out of it. your leaving the senate is
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going to be tough, it's going to be -- together we were able to put south carolina on the map sometimes, whether they wanted to or not, but i've really enjoyed the experience of taking the issues of our day, whether it be at home or in washington, and try to push the envelope. so when you leave, jim, i want you to realize that all of us understand, particularly over the last four years, you took the road less traveled in washington, and it is not your nature to be the only voice. and the fact that you were willing to do it shows me how much you care about our country, our state and you will be someone who will be listened to because of what you've done for the last four years. and we're better off for it. i will miss you. governor haley, it's like picking a judge, you know? you make 100 ingrates -- one ingrate and 100 people mad at you. filling this seat had to be tough.
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just look at the people she could have chosen from. we have a really deep bench in south carolina, people in government and out of government. you chose wisely. if these walls could talk, what would they say? just think of the conversations that's happened in this building during the history of our state. i can't help but say the obvious. yes, you did earn everything that comes your way, tim, but this is a day that's been long in the making in south carolina and i'm very proud to see it come. now, about tim -- the payee the same. mrs. scott, i can only imagine how you feel today. all of that work and effort and apparently some whipping. i was so good, i never got whipped. \[laughter]
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that's not true either. but ms. scott, i just want to say that we acknowledge what you've done. and there's so many people like you in this state, in this nation, and i am sure that tim is -- counts his blessings every day to have the family and friends that he's had. as to our delegation, if you don't have a keychain, you will by the end of the day. joe is the dean of the house delegation, and i've never met anyone who enjoys his job more. i mean, you can't go anywhere without joe being there with a smail on his face. he and roxanne have raised four great boys all in the military, and the women and men in uniform have no greater friend than joe wilson, and we know that and appreciate it. nick, you're going to be the next paul ryan. the guy is wicked smart. he's a problem-solver, but he
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is going to advance the conservative side on the fiscal side and watch this guy. he will be the next paul ryan. trey, he comes from the most conservative part of the state. he can throw a punch. but he does it in a way that his colleagues on both sides of the aisle respect him. there is no stronger voice in the house of representatives on legal issues, fast and furious, benghazi, the way you conducted yourself in front of the nation makes us all proud. jeff couldn't be here, but he has passed legislation that would make this nation energy- independent. that's pretty impressive for somebody who's been in the haas for one term and newly -- house for one term and newly elected. tom, you bring to the table problem solving. you were chairman of the county council. you understand your district has got a lot of opportunity. you're the cash cow for the state. all of us are going to myrtle beach one day. that's the american dream is to go to myrtle beach.
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and he brings height to the delegation. so welcome, tim. the only advice i can give you is that you got here by being tim scott, not lindsay graham, not jim demint, just keep being tim scott and that will be good for our state. you have a unique opportunity for the conservative cause. you've nikkei burdens. and i want to help you where i can. and anything my office can do to help you get started we will do. but the only advice i can give you is just keep being the good person you are. and the thing about tim, not only is he good about being a congressman, he'll be a great senator. he's a better person than he is a politician. \[applause] and i think just being you, you can inspire kids in a way unique, and you can do more good in many ways than any piece of legislation. so i just can't wait to work
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with you. and, jim, i will miss you. governor, you're tough. you're one tough lady. you put up with more crap than anybody i know in politician, and i just wants to be that blunt about it. i want to help you because you are very enthusiastic about selling this state. i've been around for a while now. i've never seen anybody work harder to put our state on the map in terms of business, an you're recruiting some of the most important business enterprises in this nation and they are now looking at south carolina. so the whole delegation stands behind you and what we can do to seal the deal, we will do. as to our nation, these are tough times. 2013 is going to be one heck of a challenge. how do you get the revenue and the spending right? the one thing i can tell you about tim, he understands math. that if you spend a lot more than you make over a period of
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time you're going to destroy the american dream, an that's what's at risk here. and, jim, help us outside the body save the american dream, because i don't see how young people in the future can do as well as all of us unless we make changes and make them now. so we're here in this country with this terrible tragedy in connecticut. thee got our backs against wall financially. the world is more dangerous than any time i've seen since i've been in government. but i want to end this optimistically -- there's nothing we can't do as a people and a state if we continue to work together. remember, we're a blessed nation. there's no substitute for american leadership. and when it comes to trying to explain what america is all about, i can't tell a better story than tim scott. tim is what america is all about. \[applause]
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>> so as you can tell, i'm one proud governor and i think we are going to be one proud state today. i want to thank everybody here, but ernl with all of our friends and all of these cameras you have questions, so we can open it up to anyone here on what you have. \[inaudible question] >> you know, the one thing that the republican party needs to understand is the answer to winning elections is never about the messenger. it's never about what the messenger looks like. it is about the message. and that is what needs to be understood by our party, is that the message of what we believe in and letting the market work in, the fact that we need to be fiscally conservative, in the fact that you can't continue to raise the debt over and over again and
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think something is going to fix it, in the fact that you have to make sure that you are creating pro-business environments. it's the reason that at this place, in this time, you are seeing south carolina be successful because of results, not because of what the governor looks like. u.s.e going to see the senate become stronger because of the results of tim scott, not because of what he looks like. so this is not -- that's why i said he earned this spot. i understand that we made history today and i'm proud that we made history today, but i also believe in the people of south carolina and the people of this country. and as the daughter of immigrants that saw early on that you can be anything you want to be and nothing can get in your way, i want to remind everybody that it is not the messenger, it will always be the message, and tim scott has the right message. [inaudible question]
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>> from my perspective, if you get the message right and you market it well, people listen. america is still a center-right nation. the fact is the better we get at marketing our message, the more it will resonate. fresh faces and authenticity goes a long way in the political process. so you don't have to save the best, but you have to go there. well go to new territories and new lands in many ways and this message of conservatism of reach the ends of this nation in a positive way and i look forward to the future and having an opportunity to take that message, as we have been, to the rest of the nation. \[inaudible question] >> senator lindsey -- me? i was thinking slower-elect, you know what i'm saying? >> remember this humble moment. \[laughter] say that one more time.
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>> what does it mean to you personally \[inaudible] -- >> i think what it means to me personally is that 18 years ago the city of charleston county county-wide gave me an opportunity to represent him based on values and issues. a couple of years later the folks from the house gave me an opportunity to represent their issues and their values. two years ago the first district gave me an opportunity to represent their issues and values. what i've not ever heard on the campaign trail was besides the fact that you're black or because you're black, here's what we want to do. they've asked me questions about values and issues, and that's an amazing thing. i think it speaks to the evolution of south carolina and
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of our nation. it speaks to the heart of the good people in our nation and specifically of our state. i would say this -- more importantly than the complexion that i have, i think back to growing up in a single-parent household. i'd love to speak to the single moms out there and say don't give up on your kids. it may get tough, it may be challenging, but all things are truly possible in this nation. i was speaking with jim clyburn, another part of the family here. i was talking to jim on thursday and i said, what do you think? he's like i don't know what to think. and we sat there for a few minutes and chatted. when it comes to things specific to south carolina our delegation works incredibly well as a team. \[inaudible question] >> not if i'm smart. \[laughter] \[inaudible question] >> i haven't had enough time to think about a senate bill, i do believe in term limits. i guaranteed it in the u.s. house and i will certainly have a certain number of terms. in you start in the middle,
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where do you go from there? 12 to 14 years from this point is a good number. two full terms would be fantastic. but i better win the first one or the second one doesn't really matter much. \[inaudible question] my understanding is january 3. >> \[inaudible] what do you think you can accomplish now \[inaudible] -- >> i think the first thing that i'll recognize is the south will become the entire capital of the country because i'll be putting more miles on my tires, because now i have two years to represent the entire state and get re-elected by 2014. one of the things i hope we work on from the senate will be the same thing that i worked on in the house, which is when you look at the problems of our country, they are simply spending problems primy.